Posted by Peter Lawler
...when it comes to press conferences, even his friends admit. (Truth to tell, it turns out he’s not even a Bill Clinton.) I may need to revise my judgment that he’s a cool ad libber.
He IS a Bill Clinton in terms of his longwindedness, though I found Obama easier to follow. I am told Clinton's meandering sentences actually were coherent, but failed to contain a few soundbites that are necessary to communicate in today's tv broadcasts. Anyway, Obama's sentences were coherent enough, but still so long that he came off boring. The worst of it, though, was when he referred to his own ideas as "rational," leaving the implication that if you disagreed with him, you were irrationally beholden to your ideology, the same stale arguments, blah, blah, blah. He consistently poisons the well whenever he talks (or writes) about those he disagrees with. At best, he damns them with faint praise: "I'm sure they are sincere, but . . ."
BTW: Lincoln's birthday, his 200th, is this Thursday: go buy the stamps.
Well . . . it was quite the partisan performance for such a post-partisan age.
Hugh Hewitt's response gives us what ought to be true about the response of the American people. But I'm not sure sure that it is, actually, true. Do people really know that Obama was misrepresenting the views and opinions of his opponents? Do people really realize how weak his answer about Iran was?
1. I think Obama did fine on the economy considering his goals and the audience his perfomance was aimed at. He was aiming for people with no strong opinions about how best to revive the economy and whose opinions of the Obama stimulus were being formed by short news clips. The GOP had been winning over this group to the idea that the stimulus was a waste of money and would do little to aid the economy. Obama was effective at selling the plan as an emergency measure and defending in detail the parts of the plan that he was asked about (his answer on making government building more energy efficient was especially strong). He seemed confident and most people who do not have strongly principled reasons to oppose this plan are going to go along and hope he is right. He has alot of credit with the American people right now.
2. He was visibly uncomfortable in his answer about Iran. He looked like Bart Simpson trying to fake his way through a book report. I kept waiting for him to say that Iran's main export was "corn which the Indians called maize." The good news for Obama is that most people were not tuning in to find out his plans regarding Iran
3.Julie, Obama's mischariterization of his opponents postions is a favored tactic of his. He seems to approach every argument with "Well my opponnents have ideological reasons for wanting to burn the unemployed alive and rape their pets. Well I have a different perspective and we will fight to keep the dogs and cats of struggling hardhit Americans safe. But we should keep talkingacross the aisle." It should be pointed out that this approach has worked out well for him so far and he is going to keep using it until it stops working.
4. Obama has gotten quite far with the appoach of defining bipartisanship as listening to his conservative opponents (defined as being in the same room with them while they talked)and then doing the conventional liberal thing. This seems to go back to his Harvard Law Review days. Obama seemed offended that the House GOP did not support the Pelosi written stimulus plan. After all, Obama had gone to talk to them about why they should support the bill. He took the time to listen. The least they could do is vote for the bill unchanged. his approach has also worked for him and it is a win/win. If some opponents go along because of the stroking thats great. If they don't well nothing lost. This approach will also continue until he feels it is not working. Not working defined as husrting his popularity and threatening his reelection.
Pete, he should have finished Iran by saying: In conculsion, Iran is a land of contrast. LOL, I know the exact episode. Mabye we are not far off from that reality, no food or shelter. Now we just need to find a scapegoat like millhouse for the angry proles to chase after.
Another simpsons thing the Obama presser made me think of was when Homer had the song for the sanitation election: The Garbage man can. I think that should be our new national anthem only the government can. To the tune of Candyman: Who can pay you morgage, find you a job, the government, oh the government can.
I have only one thing to add to Pete's brilliance above: where he says--The good news for Obama is that most people were not tuning in to find out his plans regarding Iran--I'd say that the bad news is that the Iranians were tuning in and for exactly that reason. I think they heard what they hoped to hear.
yes, you are right.
let me echo what julie sez about pete's brilliance. he really does need to replace bill k w the NYT.
LOL, that may be true, but I doubt its due to the fact that they think they can now bully America. It would have more to do with the fact that an attack is not coming. If Iraq is their future they can look foward to death destruction and over a million civilian causulties. Who would not be happy to hear that future is not certain.
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